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After GM strike, industrial production snaps back, rises 1.1% in November

Paul Wiseman
AP Economics Writer

Washington – U.S. industrial production snapped back last month, posting the biggest gain in more than two years, boosted by the end of a strike at General Motors.

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that industrial production – which includes output at factories, mines and utilities – rose 1.1% in November, reversing a 0.9% drop in October and recording biggest jump since October 2017.

Workers assemble Apple products at an Apple manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas.

Manufacturing output climbed 1.1%, carried higher by a 12.4% surge in production of cars, trucks and auto parts. The GM strike ended in late October. Excluding the auto industry, industrial output rose 0.5% last month and manufacturing output rose 0.3%.

The increases were bigger than economists had expected.

The Fed said that mining output fell for the third straight month, slipping 0.2% in November. Declining output in the oil and gas business has pulled down mining output in recent months. Still, mine production is up 2% over the past year. Utility production rose 2.9% from October to November but is down 4.1% over the past year.

American industry has been buffeted by President Donald Trump’s trade wars, which have raised costs and created uncertainty for many businesses. Industrial and manufacturing production each fell 0.8% over the past year. Trade tensions might ease after the United States last week announced a modest trade deal with China and Congress is poised to pass a revamped North American trade pact.